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Death of a Matriarch


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After taking some time to comfort his grieving counterpart, the ginger Marshal finds himself seated alone, his back to the chimney of their abode and his gaze resting upon the Father Tree. A cigarette hangs between his lips, deep puffs taken and released through his nose, while he reaches into the tin for another.

 

"Your work will not be forgotten. We shall carry it forth."

 

With the simple statement, the 'aheral strikes a match and sets light to the second cigarette, reaching out to prop it on a nearby stone. Watching the smoke waft upwards for a few moments, he then produces his notebook to scribble just a few words within. Nodding resolutely, he returns to his thoughts.

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Ziri'oiel Sirame had known Awaiti for precious little time, but in that time the woman had become family- something of a grandmother to her. A caretaker, a shoulder to cry on, a life story to relate to. Now that story was finished, so painfully soon after Ziri had heard it. It would be some hours before Zee would hear what had happened, before she would weep and cry and wail with dread and agony. 

 

Why did every good thing have to disappear?

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Elle'nora curled onto her couch in her home, holding the bowl Awaiti had last taken a sip from. She pondered on all the things they had planned together. From the home cottage, to playing games on the 'ame with their peculiar habits. Her jaw clenched, thinking of their final words shared together. 
"Will it be different this time?" Awaiti asked.

"Of course - I promise. I'll never leave." Elle'nora replied.

She looked up, and wept to the skies. 


 

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The news of Awaiti's passing quickly reached Levian'Tol's desk. He would quickly brushes it to the side, not entirely trusting the words.

"Bah" He lets out a scoff "Awaiti dead? Surely tis es a cruel joke." 

He stares at the words for a moment. A slow realization hitting him as he reads it again, and again, and again, and again.

"Hmm," The tired Dwarf echoed as he lowered the paper, glancing up to the ceiling of his office.

"'Ah do 'ope tis Eternal Forest es as good as t'ose druids brag et es" He mumbles quietly before continuing to labor on his work.

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Mordun didn't know what to say. What to feel. Awaiti was the wise one. The one with all the answers. And now that woman, the woman who raised her, was gone. Passed to a plane the 'ker couldn't touch.

She climbed to the top of their tree stump, the normally jovial sounds from within silenced now. Looking up to the towering redwoods overhead, and the starlit sky beyond. A tear fell down her rough face. Roughly scrubbing it away, the woman sent up a quiet prayer. 

"Green Mother, she is in your arms now. Keep her safe, and give her peace. Help me, Mother, to be worthy of my Haelun." 

Drawing in a shaky breath, she sat there for a few more minutes before slipping down the side of the tree. Mordun headed for the Sirame forge but turned abruptly, heading off instead down the hill. Purpose in her stride as she made her way towards the Father Circle.

 

"By the blood of the Aspects, the work will continue."

 

~*~

 

Nenar's grip on her staff tightened as the song of nature once more took a melancholy turn. She shook it off briefly, but that wouldn't last. In the coming days the druid would learn just who it was who had passed. Her first teacher, the one who welcomed her into her wood elven family. It would be then that tears would be shed. For a mentor, teacher, and role model. The little 'ame's heart breaking as she wandered the druid's garden, coming to the grave....

 

~*~

 

The pink haired dedicant moved away from the Blizzard Druid's grave. Passing through the various markers of fallen brethren, he'd come to a stumbling halt when he found the newest addition. Sinking to his knees, the man covered his face with both hands. Shoulders shook as he sobbed. He shouldn't of left. Why did he leave?

 

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A Faithful Mutt would bow it's head as it recalled the bout that had led to the woman's demise; It had never intended her death, not truly. It had been given a task, and as hounds are oft to do, it hearkened to it's master. It had not struck the killing blow, though this did not do much to suade the burden of responsibility it felt; It could have taken charge, encouraged her to flee, as it had He of Amber.

 

Death was a horrific finality, it had found. Not all rose anew as it had, and those who do often wish they hadn't. Death is an end to the story, to the din and ken of one's own development and growth. It had never known Awaiti in life, not really; it's hunting grounds dared not encroach upon the Elvenesse. But she was certainly a fighter, a worthy individual to carry the last breath of all who had come before her. 

 

A champion. 

 

A Wolf. 

 

"Krusae Zwy Kongzem... All your life had led to this moment, and you fell only by the circumstances of combat. You were worthy prey, 'Ame."

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When once he saw her, the elf was younger than thirty. There outside the Lofty Woods of Caras Eldar, the Virarim came to her aid - and Sister Hurricane lived.

Years later, as an officer, the elf had met her. Her name was Sister Hurricane, and she spoke with a frightening serenity in time with her Sisters Owl and Autumn. She was a fellow elf, only decades older than he, yet it was as if she had found peace. Proudly did she speak of the Emerald Way, a path which would elude him for the many years to come. The certainty of it had frightened him, who knew no such thing as peace even in slumber. That night, he would worry his thumb over the wooden coin with Malin's visage. If this was how she lived, perhaps he could, too.

When he came to know her, they were at odds. Opposing sides in pointless feuds, squabbling over an election which would not matter. Two elves so very young in comparison to their kin, yet each sought only the best. This was how they fought.

Decades later, they came to lay the spears down. The wars of Arcas had been awful, and the woodland elves sought only peace and refuge. Together, they witnessed the sky, and saw the expanse of peaceful waves. Here before her, they swore together to found a great place for the mali'ame. This request, born of love for each of their respective kin, would come to form Siramenor. This is what they swore, and for many years to follow, how in small ways she would come to teach him.

Now, the elf stood beneath a pinewood, listening to a dwarf asking for her body. It was as any other day within the hinterland city, yet it was this which had ignited some spark in his soul. Later, gazing upon the wooden gift he had received, the elf felt the sensation again: a torrent, a gale, kept in check if only by a calm center.

 

Perhaps it had been her secret all along.

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A soft huff would escape from Lyemar Aureon as news of Awaiti's passing would eventually reach him. Despite having drifted apart after her departure from the Aureon seed, Lyemar had still considered the woman kin and could not help but feel a rush of sorrow pass over him. "Perhaps she might encounter Lady Ara... I'm sure Ara will be happy to learn of the woman Awaiti grew up to be."

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An audible, shuddering gasp came from the Lilac druid, her eyes widening at the deep tug in her soul. The loss, pain and sorrow enveloped her entire being, soon becoming overwhelming. She knew not who had passed, and the tears began to fall, dribbling down her cheeks. It would be later that she found out who it had been. Awaiti. Someone she hadn't known that well, spoken to only a handful of times, but the loss was felt just the same. 
 

The news hit Eraami like a hurricane. Flashes of that young 'ame girl she met over two hundred years ago went through her mind. Awaiti had barely been a teen then, and she'd had the pleasure of watching her grow into a young woman during her years in Linandria. Years it had been since she'd last seen Awaiti. The guilt... The gut wrenching guilt that she hadn't seen her in so long. And now... There was no chance to. No time to be able to take a few minutes to talk, catch up and see how things were, what she'd missed. 

 

"I'm so sorry, Awaiti." 

 

With an apology whispered under her breath, voice cracking with the effort to not just break down and sob right then, Eraami reached for a writing utensil and some parchment. A sniffle escaped her, hand lifting to rub at her face with the back of her hand. Leo needed to know.

 

Leilani heard the news of Awaiti's passing when Lyemar did. It caused her to be still where she sat, a slow exhale going out. Tears began to well up in her eyes, though she tried her best to hold it in. There was a void now. A piece of her heart that she felt now missing with the loss of the woman she considered one of her own. A young teen Awaiti had been when she first met her within Linandria around the Caerme'onn manor.

 

"Maybe she will, Lye... Maybe she will. I am sure Ara would be proud of her. I know I wa- am proud of who she became." 

 

It was then the dam broke, when she corrected herself. The tears began to fall, her hands lifting up so she could press her face into them. 

 

Not another one. Not another family member gone. But it was true. And this time it was Awaiti. Rosalia hadn't wanted to believe it, shaking her head and murmuring that it couldn't true the whole way. She only stopped once she was in her living room, her amber gaze drifting to the table in front of the fire. Upon the table was a statuette carved out of dark oak, the features of it having been carved to be that of Awaiti. 

 

It hit. As much as she wanted it to be not true, it was. Unable to hold it in any longer, she collapsed to the wooden floor, scooting back until her back was pressed against the wall. Her shoulders shook, shaky hands pulling her knees up to her chest. Tears poured down her cheeks, and she pulled her knees up to her chest so she could press her face into them. Sobs sounded out within the empty room.

 

"Awaiti.."

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When Leo got word of the passing of Awaiti from Eraami, he made his way to the grove in a heart beat. His mind was filled with many thoughts, many things to say, but when he finally arrived to the grave to see it for himself that was when it really hit him she was truly gone. The old 'ame went to the site whenever he thought the place was the most inactive, he didn't want people to bother him.. or offer him their condolences, he wanted to see her alone really. It took him forever to speak, his voice hoarse from its lack of use in what seemed like forever being alone.

"I have no excuse for being gone, Awaiti. All I can do is hope that you forgive me for never being around. I should of been there for you in the end, I called you my Daughter after all. You made me proud, did more than I ever could in my lifetime. We'll all be together again, one day. Maybe then I can make up for it all. Rest easy, malii’lari, find your place in the Eternal Forest."

With those simple words The Wolverine Druid departed with a heavy heart, leaving back to the wilds to mourn in the solitude of nature. 

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"After all, it had been written." He bound himself north, until the gates of Amaethea came into view. There was no consolation, nor solace that could comfort the young elf — he roamed the empty roads of the citadel for a while, before venturing to his home. He recalled every detail of the realm as he remembered, albeit something differed — though he could not place it.

 

"Until we meet again..." At that, the acolyte adorned a dulled expression — then occupied by the delusions of his past, twisted and weaved into abysmal monsters. Laedrad shifted a singular finger to rub at his exhausted visage, dark circles vaguely visible in his seclusion. He exited the dim citadel, golden gaze squinted at the sun-light that beamed onto him.

 

A skeletal figure awakened from restless slumber, disheveled countenance bombarded and engulfed in the relentless force of his own thoughts. A silent, overbearing and colossal presence accompanied his travel. After some time, Laedrad hid beneath the cool shade of a bestial mangrove tree, nestled into the coarse roots of nature. He carried nostalgic demeanour as often as he carried his spear, and longed for the mournful ghost to depart soon.

 

"Ahernal ito."

 


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A gem amongst the vermin; a soldier knelt his head, out of begrudging respect to the woman, in her death. 

 

"It is done - the final one."

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Atop the high hills which overshadowed the vale, a tragic figure once stood; pale and sallow, like a willowing wisp which beckoned cold through the bone. They stared upon the cursed earth that lie below, a reflection caught in the wake of their gaze. What an honorable end that matron had met, so tragic, and yet so fitting, to die beside those she so loved. A chilling breeze swept across the gleaming wood, the winds whispering in lament, moving the lord's spirit to break out in a somber eulogium:

 

"I heard the earth go silent, when her spirit so fell."

"But how her end was met, no tongues dare tell."

 

"Her death lie unseen, obscured by dreary mist."

"But come now, isn't it said that ignorance is bliss?"

 

"More painful, no death could ever have been..."

"T'was not body that ailed, but her spirit made thin."

 

"Alas, now she lies deep, deep within the earth."

"Her fate now closed, through green rebirth."

 

"Her soul does dwell within the Aspects' wood;"

"A verdant kismet, an end thought good."

 

"She rests there evermore, and I bid thee pray:"

"Watch o'er thy kinsmen, 'ere the break of day."

 

And so the tongues did cease, the sun creeping across the shadowy veil beyond. A single candle had been lit before the lord, flickering softly in the morning dew, as the figure watched the day rise.

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-=-

 

Her brother came up to her, donning dull, dark gowns… a sign of mourning. Immediately, Lavinia knew - maybe not specifically what news he would tell, but she knew. Something was amiss - Amaesil wasn’t a mali who usually expressed his sorrow so freely. If he was this distraught, surely…

 

“Awaiti Sirame has passed on to the Eternal Forest.”

 

Oh, she thought to herself for a long moment, frozen in place. That’s what he wanted to tell them. 

This news… she felt- well. That elfess wasn’t sure… how did she feel? What was she supposed to feel? Sadness, of course - that was one of many emotions that raged inside of her, bubbling, threatening to spill over any minute. She meant to talk to her, earlier… regarding her dedicancy - but it was too late now. She’d been too late.

 

Who was Awaiti? To her? She hadn’t known her long - that short, elderly ‘ame who told tales of marrying mushrooms and encouraged her through troubling times. Her guide. Mentor. Her friend. A new sister. New kin. Kin. So many of her kin, her ilk - her mal’onnan ehya lari’onnan - had been lost… but Awaiti was not lost, no. She was home. The only reason Lavinia didn’t burst into tears at the statement was because of this realization.

 

The Oracle could finally rest. After all the pain, the suffering she’d gone through for her people, she was finally put to rest in the Emerald Dream. Those around her wept fervently, but she would not. That was for later, when no one was around, her only company the stars in the sky and the singing cicadas in the nearby underbrush. 

 

She hoped Awaiti would be proud of her. Once she completed her trials, her tasks, and became a servant to the balance. That was all she could offer, now. Hard work, dedicated to her name. 

 

“...Are you alright, lari’onn?” 

 

A familiar voice brought her out of her whirling thoughts - such a simple inquiry offered much solace in that moment. “I’m fine,” the ‘ata managed in a somber tone, swallowing quietly. Death was never easy. Even those who claimed to be unscathed by its destructive touch were scathed. “...I’ll be fine.”

 

Nothing more was shared after some time. With a nod, her brother trailed off… leaving behind only the sound of his heels patting against the stone steps during his descent. What now? What was she supposed to do? She wished Awaiti were here, to grant some guidance. What would she say? Many things... most likely - a lighthearted scolding for holding off on her tasks for so long. There was no use in dwelling. She had passed, and that was that… but it still wasn’t easy. It wouldn’t be easy, especially not in the following days - in the following weeks, months, years… centuries, even. For an eternity… Awaiti Sirame; marhaelun, lari’onn, llir… she would be missed. Her name would be sobbed in the night, in the day - spoken like a mantra.

 

A soft sigh was exuded as Lavinia looked to the empty classroom, gaze flitting about - focusing on nothing and everything at the same time. Outside, in the grass, a faint song of cicadas chirping in harmony flowed to her pointed ears, breaking the heavy silence that had previously lingered overhead.

How beautiful. 

Finally… she collapsed, crumpling to the floor, curling in on herself while her hands clutched onto her arms, nails digging deep. The tears came, and oh, how hot they were - pure molten as they streamed down her cheeks, blurring her vision. That mantra was spoken by the sobbing ‘ata;

 

Awaiti... Awaiti, Awaiti.

 

May she find peace. May peace find her. Her death would not be in vain - she swore it.

 

 

 

Edited by oliviaaaahr
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Finally.

 

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